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Case Study – Quality Analytics

HL7 Messages, FHIR, API Healthcare Case Study

Healthcare Quality Improvement Consulting Company Knocks It Out of the Park with PilotFish

This Non-Profit Healthcare Quality Improvement Consulting Company works with hospitals focused on making improvements in clinical areas that have been designated a priority for US healthcare by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). These measures use data associated with providers’ ability to deliver high-quality care or relate to long-term goals for quality healthcare.

The company licensed the PilotFish Hybrid Integration Platform for Healthcare to build up its internal IT capability to integrate any variety of HL7 messaging, handle FHIR interoperability and share data with APIs. PilotFish stood out as the most cost-effective solution to serve their growing number of hospitals as PilotFish has no per connection, per interface or transaction fees. Additionally, users can work with any data format. PilotFish’s no coding or scripting approach meant that Business Analysts could take on a large percentage of the integration work freeing up the company’s developers and further reducing costs.


The company is a non-profit consulting organization that promotes quality healthcare through contracts with federal, state and local governments as well as private organizations. With increasing government requirements and reporting, these entities have come to rely on the client’s extensive experience to help solve unique healthcare challenges. The firm leads statewide quality improvement and medical review efforts across the US. Healthcare providers at all levels rely on their resources to help navigate the rules and requirements of various federal quality improvement programs. Service areas include implementation of new quality improvement projects, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge dissemination, technical assistance and/or training and quality assurance. 


As a healthcare quality improvement initiative nonprofit, the company receives data feeds from hospitals, health systems, HIEs, government agencies and programs (such as Medicaid and Medicare). The data is validated, parsed, normalized and loaded into their SQL database. Analytics are run pertinent to specific measures and reports. The firm analyzes data coming directly from hospital clinical charting systems as well. Regarding their current contracts, most data feeds are in CDA format.

With new contracts as a Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC) under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the company targeted quality improvement assistance to hospitals in a concerted response to the opioid epidemic and patient safety. HQICs are mandated to use innovation to drive results and to implement data-driven quality improvement interventions to assist hospitals in ensuring the safety and quality of care delivery. 

The challenge to their internal IT teams was to build out HL7, FHIR and API integration capabilities quickly and easily. The integration of HL7 feeds of EMR data from Epic, Cerner and others from over 30 hospitals was the first requirement. The second was finding a cost-effective solution that would fall within their existing contract parameters. Time to market was critical as well. With building and ongoing maintenance of an internally built system falling outside of the IT staff’s core competency, the non-profit made the decision to buy and not build. This necessitated evaluating a comprehensive list of healthcare integration vendors. 


PilotFish participated in the evaluation. A singular advantage of PilotFish over other solutions is that interfaces can be easily prototyped using its Graphical Interface Assembly Line process. The client provided sample files. With these, PilotFish was able to quickly configure an interface to visually demonstrate to the client. In the demo, by stepping through PilotFish’s 7-stage Assembly Line, the client could see exactly how PilotFish’s eiConsole IDE would connect to the source system, transform the data, graphically perform data mapping, test end-to-end and then transport the data to its internal system. 

The PilotFish solution facilitated rapid interface development so that the client could scale the solution on a demanding timeline to serve more and more hospitals. With PilotFish, there were also cost benefits such as:

  • no per connection, per interface or transaction fees 
  • no need to budget for extra costs for bandwidth 

Having met all their criteria and more, PilotFish was awarded the contract. The client also benefitted from Pilotfish’s shorter training period. Their developers participated in PilotFish’s standard 32-hour training program. This consisted of demonstrations of the product’s functions and features followed by hands-on exercises. This was followed by rebuilding an interface template representative of the client’s use case. The combination provided the team with the hands-on experience needed to become productive. The client’s team leveraged PilotFish’s graphical Automated Interface Assembly Line process to quickly architect new workflows while being guided by PilotFish’s support team to ensure best practices were being followed. 

PilotFish’s flexible support plan allowed developers to reach out for support via phone, email, or chat as needed, with a quick response time to eliminate delays. Implementation leapt forward as each and every interface no matter how complex was configured using the same repeatable process.

The team also leveraged PilotFish’s visual Data Mapper. The built-in transformation module and format builders allowed them to create mappings using drag & drop. No scripting was required. The PilotFish Data Mapper utilizes W3C standard XSLT generated under the covers. With PilotFish, the team had the option of working in the graphical or XSLT view and could switch back and forth between the two. Other products being evaluated required propriety scripting (which locks you into a vendor) and lacked true graphical mapping capabilities.

PilotFish’s configuration vs code-driven process enabled the client’s business analysts and non-developers to perform part of the integration work, freeing up their developers for other projects.  More cost and time savings accrued, which resulted in higher ROI.

Not being nickel-and-dimed once the number of contracts and connections scaled up was a major reason for selecting PilotFish.  Importantly, PilotFish base licensing includes every component of the eiConsole IDE – processors, listener and transport adapters and supported data formats – at no extra cost.  

PilotFish’s architecture facilitates interface reuse which played a huge role in the speed the solution was rolled out. Contractual timelines were adhered to and guaranteed deadlines were met. 


The company selected PilotFish over competitor solutions for its ease-of-use, high performance and lower cost overall. PilotFish demonstrated in short order that implementations were speedy and deadlines were met. 

The client achieved immediate and ongoing cost savings. Because with PilotFish there are:

  • NO connection fees
  • NO per interface fees
  • NO per client charges
  • NO transaction fees
  • NO bi-directional fees
  • NO additional charges for cold backups

PilotFish’s extensible and flexible architecture ensures that the company going forward will be able to integrate with electronic healthcare records HL7 2.x messaging, share data via APIs, and be FHIR interoperable if required. PilotFish also supports HL7 2.x, HL7 3.x, FHIR, CDA/C-CDA, X12 EDI, NCPDP, DICOM and more. The robust PilotFish Hybrid Integration Platform integrates data and applications across on-premises, cloud, hybrid or multi-cloud environments.

With PilotFish’s built-in foundation to support multiple data formats and industry standards, the company will soon be looking at all potential data that would map to specific quality improvement measures. Reduction in adverse drug events to meet Medicaid Medicare goals for healthcare providers will be one such measure.

Using PilotFish, each new implementation can be achieved by cloning earlier efforts and only making minor modifications in configuration saving enormous amounts of time. This facilitates the ease of managing, maintaining and updating interfaces without the need to rely on those who originally created them. 

Seeing PilotFish in action, the company is confident that PilotFish will meet every challenge and easily integrate with virtually anything and everything, now and in the future. The bottom line is that PilotFish delivered everything expected and more, plus an impressively high Return On Investment (ROI).

Since 2001, PilotFish’s sophisticated architecture and innovations have radically simplified how healthcare integration gets done. Today PilotFish offers the most flexibility and broadest support for healthcare integration of any product on the market and is system, platform and database agnostic. PilotFish’s healthcare integration suite includes support for all healthcare data formats (HL7 2.x, HL7 3.x, FHIR, CCD/CCDA, JSON, XML, X12 EDI, NCPDP, etc.) and communication protocols.

PilotFish is architected to be infinitely extensible with our Open API and flexible to meet any integration requirement. PilotFish distributes Product Licenses and delivers services directly to end users, solution providers and Value-Added Resellers. To learn more, visit our Case Studies or specific solutions like HL7 Integration or X12 EDI Integration.

PilotFish Healthcare Integration will reduce your upfront investment, deliver more value and generate a higher ROI. Give us a call at 813 864 8662 or click the button.

HL7 is the registered trademark of Health Level Seven International.
X12, chartered by the American National Standards Institute for more than 35 years, develops and maintains EDI standards and XML schemas.

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